Trade Mark and Patent Application Fees Reduced

Patricia Jones, a specialist IP lawyer writes, “The UK Intellectual Property Office (“IPO”) has announced a review of its trade mark and patent application fees and services through public consultation.   This is in line with a decision by EU member states to accept a proposal by the European Commission to cut Community trade mark (“CTM”) application fees by 40%, a move supported by the UK.  Rates of registration of CTMs, UK trade marks and patents have fallen considerably in recent months and through a new regime, the EU and IPO aim to ensure that businesses protect their IP sufficiently during the economic downturn.

CTM Fees

Under the new CTM application regime, the registration fee will be set at zero, as opposed to the current €1000 registration fee (€850 if paid electronically), and the application fee will be slightly increased, from €750 to €900 for online applications and from €900 to €1050 for paper applications.  

It is thought that the CTM fee reduction could be in place by the middle of 2009.  Applications filed before the adoption of the new regime, for which applicants have paid only the application fee, will be exempt from the registration fee previously due.   Applicants should therefore consider filing as soon as possible to make the most of this additional saving whilst avoiding the higher application fee.

IPO Initiatives

The IPO is discussing a range of options and aims to help businesses protect their IP more easily and affordably in the UK, potentially saving them over £700,000 per annum, thus maintaining the UK’s competitive position for businesses looking to protect their IP.

The initiatives being discussed include: introduction of a new ‘early assistance’ service for new trade mark applicants; provision of an e-filing discount for trade mark and patent applicants when applications are filed electronically; and reduction of the fee for opposition to the registration of a new mark by another firm.

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